Writing is cheaper than therapy
|July 5, 2012||Posted by under General Content & Rants|
I’ve been trying very hard to stay away from bitching and writing negative posts as of late. Yes, I know this is a journal style blog and people have encouraged me to share my journey regardless of its difficulties. I can no longer hold things in and need to vent again but will try to come up with a “moral of the story” along with the bitching.
Alright, for those of you who are not sure, I am still living here: a place I heavily dislike for many reasons which I’ve mentioned more than once in the past year so I won’t repeat them, there are many. We were supposed to move last fall and it has been delayed ever since. The wait has been painful and difficult for both my partner and I who wish to get on with our lives and be reunited with like minded progressive people in a big city. This can not be achieved here. We’re holding on, kind of.
The past few months, I’ve been focusing on the positive things around here. There aren’t very many (for someone like me, anyway) but there are some and I’ve been focusing on those. The list includes: Living by the ocean, nice coastal weather (not too hot or cold), fresh clean air, friendliness (albeit a little fake but still) & wicked thrift stores. There are also a couple of establishments I frequent, mostly indie cafes with baristas who love coffee as much as I do. That’s about it though. I am not outdoorsy so I can not include the things I am not interested in.
I’ve been frequenting places I enjoy where people won’t piss me off. I go to places which tend to attract a lot of expats or more cultured folk. I’ve discovered where to go and not go around here. If I am in a bad mood, I know where to go in town to fix that.
So yesterday, I was NOT having a good day. Truly. I came very close to purchasing a plane ticket. I kept telling myself that running away will only fix things temporarily as I do eventually have to fly back to this place. My trips always help me, but within a week of being back it’s as if I had never even left. Basically, I just get a little break but they are costly breaks!
For the first time in about 2 years, I’ve been here for longer than 4 months straight (usually, I can’t do it). So the fact that I am still here and haven’t gone anywhere for 4 months means that I am making some progress. However, things have been difficult lately.
So how did I handle my bad situation yesterday?
I reached out to another acquaintance here who is an expat as well. I’ve been going in to see him every month or two in the past year (for business purposes) but lately it’s been every few weeks. Now, we don’t even discuss “business”. We just chat. It came out that he was stuck here too and also deals with many difficult cultural challenges. The guy makes me feel normal. Everyone around here seems to make me feel like I am weird or different and MANY times, people misinterpret my actions or how I communicate. Not this dude! He’s one of the only people I’ve met here who doesn’t make me feel as if have to bite my tongue or hold back on what I need and want to say.
I barely even know the guy but I’ve brought him some handmade goodies and usually walk in the door with a coffee in hand for him as he is as much of a coffee nerd as me, he appreciates it and we actually discuss the brew. He never acts weird. On a hunch, I knew my friendliness and gestures would not scare him off. He doesn’t think the gifts I bring mean anything other than that I appreciate him as a person. He doesn’t think I am “after” him. His behavior towards me has always been very consistent. It’s not like he’s friendly and engaging one day, and acts like he doesn’t know me the next time I come in. He’s consistent and I feel relaxed when I go in there, because I can be all crazy, talking a mile a minute, bitching or doing whatever and he’s fine with it all. In fact, I think he likes the fact that I am not like the others around here. He doesn’t get spooked or wonder why I am going in there to chat. He just GETS it. I haven’t felt accepted by anyone here like that in a long time. I don’t know why, but people here appear to be intimidated and afraid of me. I’ve never had this problem until I moved here. I guess people don’t like strong women who have opinions. At least that’s the conclusion I came to, because a guy here can be like me and it’s fine, but not a woman. I know, awful.
I will say this though: I get treated like GOLD in stores, restaurants and other establishments. I get free stuff, discounts, compliments….all of it. So it’s not that they are mean to me, but they won’t engage me unless I stay superficial with them. It’s interesting. As soon as you try to get closer to them in any way, they run. I think the locals have intimacy issues.
My experience with the locals is one that has been very different than what I experience with this other expat guy. NO ONE here understands how I communicate. People don’t like the bluntness and are actually scared of it. I have to tone down my personality not to offend, if you know what I mean. And ANYTIME I get invited to do things, it’s actually fake. No one truly means it. You get a lot of people saying this: “I really wanna hang out”, “Let’s do something soon!”, “Let’s go for a drink/coffee!”..when someone says this to me, in my world it means that you mean it and then you take the steps to actually make it happen. No one ever does it though. It’s very very weird.
The strangest part is that they approach me first, ask me to do something but never follow up on it. If I follow up, they come up with excuses. The whole thing is mind boggling and I haven’t quite figured out why this happens around here. I can count about a dozen times this has happened to me in the past year. My close friends have asked me why I haven’t scolded these people or put them in their place (this is what I would normally do in a normal place if this kind of thing happened to me) but the fact is, I will just get lies and excuses and more fake invitations. So I decide to save my energy, drop the whole thing and move on. What else can do you when people are full of shit? Right? If someone can’t do things right the first time, I can’t be bothered.
May I add, that this ONLY happens with local people. Not others who were raised and lived elsewhere in their adulthood. I suppose I never tapped into the way things are done here. I suppose I never will. This place might be ok for some people but it is quite possibly one of the worst places for someone like me to live in. But you know that, you’ve known it for awhile. And I apologize for repeating it…once again.
Writing is cheaper than therapy and not brain damaging like taking meds.
Ok, so you know what the moral of the story is? Stick to YOUR people, the people who are suited for you. Don’t try to fit in a place where you don’t and will never belong. I tried with the locals for years. I failed. So I’ll stick to other outsiders like me while I am still here, because they’ve never let me down.